It sounds like adventure blasphemy, a cruel joke or my first attempt at spreading bad advice, but I assure you it is possible to save up a little money while you travel.
Isnt the reason you save money in the first place is to blow it on an awesome vacation? All too often this is the perspective of travelers.We save to spend, and more often than not it means spending “everything”. Which works fine if you have a high paying job, that will prioritize you with good hours when you get home, but sadly, stable employment is quickly becoming a luxury.
However hard it may seem, it is possible to travel and save money. It isn’t easy, sometimes it isn’t fun, but it often makes life post-traveling just a little easier. It could be saving for a house or just getting to the next country on the list, a little extra cash is a good thing. Hopefully, these suggestions will help make those steps a little smaller.
–Pick somewhere far away. Pick a region you want to see as opposed just a couple of countries. You can now use your base country as a “hub” to travel to other places that interest you. It’s a lot easier to save when country #2 on your wish list is right next door, as opposed to flying home and planning another flight out.
–Plan to travel for longer, instead of stopping in for a couple of weeks, make your timeframe a couple of months. This allows you to use up working visas and gain somewhat steady income. Working visas are typically easier to get than expected and usually don’t cost much, especially when you consider how fast you can make that back. Australia pays 17 dollars an hour to deliver pizzas, so you can imagine how soon you’ll make it back. The bad news is that Visas are a whole lot harder to get once you’re over 30 years old.
– When you decide on your hub country then pick a hub city, or travel for a bit and stay at the one you like the most, preferably one with some jobs rumors. As soon as you decide on your place of short-term residence Lose the car and use the money to get housing that is closer to the action. Cars suck up more resources and exchange only some convenience. The depreciation on a car could be your next plane ticket to paradise.
-Know how much things are worth in local currency. Worth has to do with the value, meaning “is it a good deal given this environment”, not “Wow. That’s cheap when I think about what it would cost in my native currency”. Many places will jack up prices to match your tourist expectations (I’m looking at you Thailand), ask yourself “Would a local think this is a good deal.” Or just ask a local (just make sure you are aware of local custom concerning money before you do).
-Its been said a million times, probably most convincingly by the Iwillmakeyourich.com, but having benchmarks and budgets a good places to start. Budgeted cash becomes extra cash which lets you be more spontaneous.
– A German girl once asked me “How do you plan not to have a plan?” Having an outline that is realistic for the amount of cash you can spend, can go a long way in letting you be spontaneous later. Going into credit card debt is not really an option if you are looking life beyond the next private all inclusive resort.
– Make extra income for yourself. Being in a new country is a great time to experiment with making money with your hobbies or talents. Play music or try to sell your art at weekend fairs. If your voice is going to get you deported other good options include, working for accommodation or picking up freelance work . Even volunteering or working for free can help you build experience back home in fields you may enjoy but wouldn’t have considered.
-Last but not least, get to know people! If you live and work close to where everything is happening, you can usually get “mates rates” (no, you dont have to sleep with anyone) or friend discounts from acquaintances who have cooler jobs than you. At very least you should be able to scrounge some food discounts.